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Internet users have not welcomed the fact that health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has become the longest-serving health secretary in the history of NHS England.
Mr Hunt, who was appointed health secretary in 2012, has now been in his role for five years and 274 days, surpassing Margaret Thatcher’s health secretary Norman Fowler who held the position for five years and 273 days.
In January, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that while Mr Hunt would remain in his post, his responsibilities would be extended to include social care.
As the landmark date rolled around, social media users took to Twitter to criticise Mr Hunt’s NHS reign:
Stats show Jeremy Hunt’s calamitous 2,099-day reign has seen soaring waiting times, cancelled ops, bed shortages & a 100,000 staff shortfall & in the Conservative Party that means you not only keep your job you get promoted. It must be deliberate sabotage https://t.co/JzqChPv4ju
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) June 3, 2018
and the result is longest A&E waiting times since 2004, fewer beds and doctors then almost anywhere in the EU, a shortage of 40,000 nurses & 10,000 doctors & social & mental health services at the point of imminent collapse. It must be time for promotion https://t.co/XLhLjtyiRC
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) June 4, 2018
Today Jeremy Hunt becomes the longest serving health secretary: that’s 5 years and 273 days of chronic underfunding, soaring waiting times and missed targets… pic.twitter.com/mUW1tJW49t
— Labour Press Team (@labourpress) June 3, 2018
Jeremy Hunt being the longest serving Health Secretary and the NHS being in such a parlous state are no coincidence. Hunt’s job from the off was the dismantle it and he has largely succeeded, despite the ongoing denials. It will take time but Labour will undo his handiwork #NHS
— Twenty8Sixty8 (@WilliamPMack) June 3, 2018
Very sad day today; Jeremy Hunt has become the longest serving Secretary of State for Health. The state of our health service today is a damning indictment of his mismanagement and deliberate underfunding. https://t.co/z4uGAqJAru
— Gareth Brading 🌹 (@gbrading) June 3, 2018
Mr Hunt wrote on Twitter: ‘Sometimes time has flown, at others it’s been achingly slow, but every second of the last five plus year has been a privilege.
‘Thanks NHS England for being extraordinary in so many ways: much more impressive than a long serving health and social care secretary are the staff who have devoted 10, 15 or 20 years plus to patients.
‘Some have asked what are the biggest things I wish I had known when I started, [which are] too many to list, but the top [ones] are the importance of detailed workforce planning, critical link between NHS England and social care and that if you want to improve patient safety there is no change without culture change.’